Posted By Louise Pakeman

The rapid advance in technology has changed the face of the publishing world. There are so many ways the aspiring writer can get their work 'out there' to the reading public today without going through all the hoops of finding a publisher, or an agent to find one for you.

At one time 'Vanity' publishing, that is paying to get a book published, was frowned upon as the last desperate measure by the writer of inferior material to get into print. Even so many authors who are now well known took this route to publication. Prejudice dies hard however and those who self publish today find their route to the reading public impeded by the refusal of  book distributors to consider anything that does not come from one of the established publishing houses. So the author takes to the road and confronts book shops directly to be told 'Oh – we only buy from distributors.'

Rapidly advancing computer technology however has improved things, both for new authors and the reading public who now have access via the Internet to a much wider range of reading. POD (Print On Demand) and electronic reading devices such as Kindle make it possible for writers and readers to make the all important connection without the author mortgaging their home and ending  up with boxes of books filling the garage or stacked under the bed. Both methods of giving birth to a book are environmentally friendly.

Recent years have seen a proliferation in the number of self publishing firms and again the internet makes this a much more viable proposition and widens the choice for would be authors who  no longer need to have their books printed  locally. Many of these offer a very good service dealing with all the mundane details such as ISBN numbers, bar codes etc. and putting the book on line on their own websites. Some even arrange publicity for their authors and include their books in catalogues for libraries. Time spent  browsing the web sites of these publishers is well spent.

With so many new avenues opening for writers eager to get in print one wonders why so many spend so much time and energy knocking, figuratively speaking, at agent's doors and  are lucky if they get the briefest of Thanks – but no thanks. It takes a hardy spirit and a great deal  of faith in one's own ability as a writer to survive the constant put downs not only from publishers but agents. This appears to be a relatively new phenomenon, When I launched myself eagerly onto the world as a writer fifty years ago I had no trouble finding an agent, in fact they often found me and it was their encouragement and belief in me that helped me to be the published author I am today.

I would urge anyone who really wants to write to go for it, don't get put off and don't believe those people, usually agents, who tell you that you cannot get anywhere on your own, there ARE commercial publishers who will take un-agented material and there are other avenues to get your precious book out to readers.

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Louise Pakeman


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